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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rain kept the UF men's tennis team off the courts on Sunday, but it didn't slow them down in Friday's washout of Auburn.

The Gators (12-5, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) swept every point against the Tigers (10-10, 4-6 SEC) to claim a 7-0 victory over the nation's 26th-ranked team.

"There's not a deep gap between the two teams in talent level," UF coach Andy Jackson said. "So it just means that we did a super good job of playing a match. Next time, it could go a different direction.

"The discipline with which the seniors are able to bring the freshmen along to be able to blow out a true top 25 team - that's what stood out," he said. "Because it is very hard to beat teams that are good 7-0."

No. 11 UF's match against No. 24 Alabama, which was scheduled for Sunday, was postponed until Monday at noon due to rain.

The Gators opened Friday's match against Auburn by winning two of three doubles courts, 8-3 and 8-4, to seal the point.

They followed that up with straight-set wins on the top four courts. Freshman Alex Lacroix clinched the victory for UF 6-3, 6-3.

"Almost everybody played good, solid matches, particularly (seniors) Greg (Ouellette) and Nestor (Briceno), because Auburn is really good talent-wise at (Courts) 1 and 2," Jackson said.

Freshman Erik Corace, who lost both of his matches against LSU and Arkansas the previous weekend, dropped a close first set 7-5. He rebounded by winning the second set 6-0 and a third-set super-tiebreaker 1-0 (10-7) to keep the shutout alive.

"I think that Erik has a huge amount of talent and just has a lot to learn. And I think he took a step in learning," Jackson said. "I think he would've beaten both LSU and Arkansas [Friday] in matches he would've lost last week."

Freshman Tyler Hochwalt secured the sweep in a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 1-0 (10-3) win. He moved to 15-2 on the year in singles and 8-1 in SEC play, each marking the best records on the team.

"We took advantage of some advantages," Jackson said of the shutout. "Doubles was close. We were able to get it. It was very hot. We were very disciplined at the beginning, and I think [Auburn] got a little bit discouraged."

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The UF women's tennis team won its 23rd SEC regular-season championship by surviving at No. 34 Auburn 4-3 on Friday. The title marks the most SEC titles won by any team in any women's sport.

The No. 3 Gators won two of three doubles courts to take the point and an early lead.

UF (16-1, 10-0 SEC) went up 3-1 on seniors Lolita Frangulyan and Whitney Benik's straight-set victories before the Tigers tied the match at 3-3.

Sophomore Anastasia Revzina held off her opponent in a third set to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and clinch the match for UF.

The Gators remained unbeaten in conference play on Sunday with a 7-0 win at No. 75 Alabama.

They will look to finish the SEC regular season perfect with a win at South Carolina on Saturday.

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